According to a new study, there may be benefits between exercise and heart health for depression and anxiety. Read about the study below.
If you have depression or anxiety, exercise may help improve your heart health. While that may not sound like news, a new study by the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) suggests that regular workouts double the cardiovascular benefits for those with depression or anxiety.
Their findings continue to add to the current evidence showing that exercise helps improve cardiovascular health. Exercise does this by activating parts of the brain that fight against stress.
Presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 71st Annual Scientific Session, the study shows that individuals following the recommended amount of exercise per week were 17% less likely to experience a major adverse cardiovascular event. Furthermore, the study shows that those with anxiety or depression had significantly greater benefits.
Their results show that people with either condition had a 22% risk reduction compared to a 10% risk reduction in people without either condition. According to Dr. Hadil Zureigat, the study’s lead author and a postdoctoral clinical research fellow at MGH, the study shows how people with these conditions can benefit from exercise. “Our findings don’t suggest that exercise is only effective in those with anxiety and depression, but rather that people with these diagnoses derive a relatively greater cardiovascular benefit from exercise,” said Zureigat.
Heart and Mental Health
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, rates of depression and anxiety have risen, with heart disease remaining the leading cause of death. According to the researchers, the study highlights the importance of reducing stress and taking care of your heart health.
“I personally think exercise is the super medicine for people with depression or anxiety,” says Dr. Katie Berlacher, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh and a member of the American College of Cardiology. “But while these are great findings, I don’t want to underplay how difficult it can be to start an exercise regimen, especially if you have depression or anxiety.”
However, Zureigat emphasizes that any level of exercise is effective. “Patients should be encouraged to be active, even if they are unable to meet the guidelines,” said Zureigat. “They can still be deriving significant cardiovascular benefit from exercise.”
“When one thinks about physical activity decreasing cardiovascular risk, one doesn’t usually think of the brain,” said Zureigat. “Our research emphasizes the importance of the stress-related neural mechanisms by which physical activity acts to reduce cardiovascular risk.”
As you exercise to improve both your physical and mental well-being, it’s important to consider extra help. For example, you can take supplements like L-arginine Plus to give your heart a necessary boost.
Its ingredients are effective at promoting circulation, blood pressure health, cholesterol health, and more. If you’re ready to support your heart health, then it’s time to start exercising and taking L-arginine Plus.